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March 2023

Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - April 2023

image from www.sparkysonestop.com

Welcome to April, fools.

Al's Corner is about free speech.  Especially speech you don't like.  If you delete posts because you don't like them, you're an asshole. 

If the shoe fits, wear it.  On your asshole.  An asshole shoe.  Do they come in pairs?

Bon Ami says, "Hasn't Scratched Yet".  At Al's Corner we say, "Haven't Moderated Yet".  Though some day we will, but it will be on principals, not politics.  Someone blatantly violates the rules.  But unlike 'Disappearing Donny', we'll let you know what you did wrong, not simply disappear your comment into a progressive void.  (Full Disclosure:  I once had to moderate one of my own comments - and yes, I did inform myself of it.)

The 'topic' for this month is "Stomping Davis, Crushing Locales".

Based on a March 30th comment in the Davis Vanguard by Dave Hart:  "I’m tired of the emotional and knee jerk negative reaction of those, particularly on the fringe of town next to proposed new development. I would love to see these locales get crushed and I’m starting to feel that way about Davis. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but yeah, we need to be stomped on for being so intransigent and narrow."

Crush & Stomp your fellow citizens, those usual suspects, so intransigent and narrow.  Oh Davis YIMBYs!

Carry on . . .

Save the dates for The Davisphere 2023 concerts

Crowds gather in Davis’ Central Park on Sept. 29, 2022, for one of the Thursdays in The Davisphere events. The concert series resumes in August, at various spots downtown. (Courtesy photo)

(From press release) Thursdays in The Davisphere, the concert series launched in 2022 by Davis Downtown, will resume in August with new venues and activities, in five fun-filled events.

Thursdays in the Davisphere will appear in different areas of downtown, depending on the date. Brett Maresca, executive director of Davis Downtown, said the entertainment lineup and locations will be announced in the coming weeks. “We’re going to be testing a few different locations and a few different activities,” he said.

The 2023 dates are Aug. 31, Sept. 21, Sept. 28, Oct. 12 and Oct. 26. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m.

While significantly different events, the series complements the Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park, which will return on Wednesdays in May. Picnic in the Park will be from 4 to 8 p.m. May 17 through Sept. 13 in Central Park, Fourth and C streets. Along with the traditional farmers market, it will have local bands, children’s activities and food vendors. The remainder of the year, the market operates from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, and year-round from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Continue reading "Save the dates for The Davisphere 2023 concerts" »

Artists, organizations relay impact of city arts grants

Justine Villanueva performs in “Gynecologos” on March 18 at the Davis Branch Library. Other Davis Repertory Theatre performers shown are Jasmine Washington, left, Lolita Echeverria-Greco and Annie Velez. The theatre company was one of many arts organizations and artists receiving American Rescue Plan grant funds. (Hanna Nakano/Courtesy photo)

By Wendy Weitzel

Davis artists and nonprofit arts organizations benefited from more than half a million in American Rescue Plan funds distributed in recent months.

The largest amount – $500,000 – went to stabilize the city’s nonprofit arts and culture sector, which saw substantial economic impacts during the pandemic. The Yolo Community Foundation administered and selected those 20 winners, with organizations receiving between $5,000 and $45,000 each. In addition, the city chose 50 individual Davis-based arts and culture applicants to receive grants of $1,000 each.

Rachel Hartsough, the city’s Arts and Culture manager, said, “We can’t overstate how important this support is to the work of local artists. Their collective efforts improve our quality of life in so many ways. The arts and culture sector strengthens our local economy, provides an important tool for gathering in times of celebration and mourning, creates individual and civic pride, builds community within neighborhoods, attracts out-of-town visitors, amplifies the voices and faces of marginalized members of our community, and supports initiatives that promote health and wellness. And, of course, the arts bring joy and beauty into our lives.”

That echoes an October 2021 op-ed printed in The Davis Enterprise, written by Autumn Labbé-Renault, then-Arts Alliance Davis chair, who is executive director of Davis Media Access. Signed by 22 members of the Alliance, it argued that arts and culture were essential to local economic vitality yet were often overlooked in pandemic relief funding. Besides providing jobs, local events boost the coffers of hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and cities, it said.

Continue reading "Artists, organizations relay impact of city arts grants" »

Transforming N Street Park

By Wyatt Garrett, Cecilia Walsh, Torin Dunnavant, and Emily Griswold

VolunteersThis past weekend, Tree Davis and the Davis Manor Neighborhood Council co-hosted two volunteer work days at N Street Park, with over 75 community members coming out to get their hands dirty. Under expert guidance from Tree Davis, the group planted over 450 drought-tolerant, climate-ready plants throughout the park, including eight trees. In addition, staff and volunteers began the installation of a comprehensive drip irrigation system around the park, completed a natural log habitat feature and spread a fresh layer of mulch in the newly planted areas. All of this work is part of a larger, community-wide effort to transform N Street Park into a more engaging and inspiring public space.

N Street Park was built in 1960, and last renovated in 1996. Up until 2022 the park was limited to a basic open turf area with a small, aging play structure tucked out of view from the street. Over the last few years, the Davis Manor Neighborhood Council successfully advocated for the park to be renovated in order to make it more safe, welcoming, playful, and sustainable. Starting in 2018, the neighborhood planning committee worked closely with Davis Manor resident and landscape architecture student Tucker McPhaul to engage neighbors in re-envisioning the park. They ultimately submitted a conceptual design proposal to the City of Davis that featured an updated play structure, conversion of most of the turf into climate-ready planting sites, inclusion of a dry creek bed, and the installation of a log habitat feature. Many of these preliminary concepts were incorporated into the final design.


The N Street Park renovation project has proven to be a model of neighborhood advocacy and community engagement in park design and implementation. Initiated by the Davis Manor Neighborhood Council, the project has been made possible through collaboration with the City of Davis City Manager’s Office, Parks and Community Services Department, Public Works Department, numerous contractors, and Tree Davis.

Continue reading "Transforming N Street Park" »

Bill Gates, Today is the Day to Replace Your Oily Credit Card with a Green One

Screenshot 2023-03-21 at  1By Scott Steward

Bill Gates would tell you we are in danger of living an impoverished life. The idea that we would have to give up our fossil fuel funding credit cards, it's just a bridge too far. Isn't it?  It turns out that if you want to get your cash rewards, and stop funding fossil fuel banks with your credit cards, almost all of what you would get from a fancy frequent flyer credit card, you can get from a fossil funding free credit card from your local credit union or bank.

I have looked around. I looked at the comparison chart provided by ClimateAction, Compare Credit Card Table. The ClimateAction table does not include all choices.  Golden One Credit Union Visa Cash Back+ card was not on the list, but I was encouraged to use the Credit Union for comparison as it had a lot of the features that were highest on the Fossil Funding Free card list.

I compared the Golden1 card to Chase bank's Southwest Rapid Rewards VISA card.  Chase is the largest US funder of fossil fuel. My analysis shows that for $25,000 spent through the cards, you might lose about $73 (from $562 to $489) or a reduction of 12% cash back by going with the fossil funding free card.  Based on this analysis, that's within the margin of error.

2023-03-21 Chase card vs  1

Today is TH!RD ACT Tuesday, if you're shopping downtown and you happen to notice a bunch of rabble rousers, of many ages, alongside Chase Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, you'll know why. Each of these banks uses record amounts of your deposits for their loans to oil companies around the world. They are the world’s largest funders of fossil fuel, and you're paying for them with the fees and interest syphoned from your cards..

You can change your credit card and you're not going to impoverish anyone. In fact, you're going to put cash in your pocket that is worth every penny of cash back that you get from your frequent flyer miles.

Continue reading "Bill Gates, Today is the Day to Replace Your Oily Credit Card with a Green One" »

Indivisible Yolo To Host Pints & Progress Event

March 28 @ 5-7pm, Woodstock's Pizza in Davis

Screenshot 2023-03-18 at  1(From press release) In the spirit of getting out of the house and off campus, Indivisible Yolo will host its bi-monthly Pints and Progress event March 28, 5-7pm, at Woodstock's Pizza’s new location on the corner of 3rd and G in Davis. 

This is a come-as-you-are informal gathering with fellow Yolo County citizens concerned about the future of democracy. We can discuss the issues over a slice of pizza, your choice of beverage, and just plain socialize.  In person! (Look for us on the 2nd level)

RSVP here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/183594607739804/ or [email protected]

Letter: To Help Ukraine, Boycott Chinese Goods

China has taken to aiding with Russia to help support the Russian economy. The trade between China and Russia has escalated and China has taken to buying Russian oil, the most profitable export from Russia. At the beginning of 2023 Russia’s economy has started to show signs of stress but the Ukrainian economy has tanked.

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution (12/10/2022) by a large majority on Wednesday, calling on countries not to recognise the four regions of Ukraine which Russia has claimed, following so-called referendums held late last month, and demanding that Moscow reverse course on its "attempted illegal annexation".

Russia voted NO and China abstained

By propping up a belligerent Russia that nation is committing crimes against humanity. China has Ukraine’s blood on its hands.

To help Ukraine achieve peace I am joining with others to boycott Chinese goods. China is one of the few countries aiding Russia where a boycott would have effect. Please join me and check those labels when you shop.

David J Thompson

Lots of fun events surround Davis Pride weekend in June

A drag queen performs at the 2022 Davis Pride Festival. (Wendy Weitzel/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) The rainbows return to Davis’ Central Park in June for the ninth annual Davis Pride Festival. The community-focused, family-friendly weekend includes a skate night, fun run, music festival, drag queens, vendors and more – June 3 and 4. 

The events, produced by the Davis Phoenix Coalition, follow the theme “I am Davis Pride.” This year, Davis Pride’s presenting sponsor is BluPeak Credit Union. The highlights of the weekend include:

  • Skate with Pride, starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 3. The free night will include a disc jockey, disco lights and food trucks. Skating will be under the Davis Farmers Market Pavilion in Central Park, Fourth and C streets, downtown.
  • Run for Equality at 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 4. It includes a 5K and 1K run/walk from Central Park. Registration is $25 until May 28 and $30 after.
  • A community fair kicking off the Davis Pride Festival at 10 a.m. on June 4. It continues until 5 p.m. in Central Park with educational booths, food, drink, and vendors coordinated with the assistance of Davis Craft and Vintage Market.
  • A music festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Sunday, with local and international bands, choirs and a drag queen revue.  This year’s music headliner is Northern California favorite Tainted Love – The Best of the ’80s Live.
  • A Ride with Pride bike party ride starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 23, from Central Park.

Continue reading "Lots of fun events surround Davis Pride weekend in June" »

N Street Park Planting Party

(From press release) Join Tree Davis and the Davis Manor Neighborhood Council at the newly renovated N Street Park March 18th and March 19th! Come help install new trees, flowers, and shrubs that will make our park and neighborhood more beautiful!

Tree Davis is seeking volunteers to assist with planting, installing drip irrigation, and spreading mulch at this two day installation event. No previous experience is necessary. Sign up for a morning or afternoon volunteer shift and join us for a potluck lunch from 12-1 each day. There are limited volunteer slots so sign up early to secure your spot!

For more information visit https://www.treedavis.org/volunteer or email us at [email protected]

Davis Farmers Market brings back Picnic in the Park

PIP2018(From press release) The community missed its lazy Wednesday evenings in Central Park – the music, food and family fun. The Davis Farmers Market listened, and found a way to bring back its beloved Picnic in the Park.

Starting May 17, Picnic in the Park will return, and continue every Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 13. A local band will play each night. There will be children’s entertainment, loads of food vendors, and plenty of opportunity to gather as a community. Late September through early May, Wednesdays swap back to a traditional farmers market, open 3 to 6 p.m.

Randii MacNear, executive director of the Davis Farmers Market Alliance, is thrilled. With a redesigned layout, it will be more manageable. “I’m so happy, because I really feel like we broke people’s hearts. There was no solution except to try to bring it back – if we could find a way.”

The new layout of the Wednesday market is designed for success. Food trucks will fill the patio area, and the band will play from the top of the stairs, facing the lawn. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets for picnicking. Tables and chairs will no longer be provided.

During operating hours, the market will have an open-container permit, allowing patrons to consume alcohol on the grassy area, whether it’s a bottle of wine from Heringer Estates, or a beer they bought from a downtown brewery or from home.

Continue reading "Davis Farmers Market brings back Picnic in the Park" »

Regenerative agriculture and the role of UC Davis

Ministries-for-the-futureBy Roberta Millstein

Yesterday, I attended a wonderful event on the UC Davis campus.  The purpose of the event was to celebrate the new Environmental Humanities Designated Emphasis at UC Davis, and it brought together in conversation two renowned scholars, Donna Haraway (a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz) and Kim Stanley Robinson (an award-winning science fiction author who lives in Davis; the title of the event, “Ministries for the Future,” is also the title of one of Robinson’s recent books).  It was a wide-ranging, fascinating conversation – so popular that it was literally standing room only – that I can’t begin to summarize here (but you can watch online). 

Instead, I want to highlight two important and related points that Robinson made: one was about the purpose of the University of California and one was about regenerative agriculture.[1]

Continue reading "Regenerative agriculture and the role of UC Davis" »

Don't lose the opportunity for housing at University Mall site

By David J Thompson

Without a doubt, the University Mall site will be the greatest lost opportunity for housing in Davis in this ten year RHNA cycle. At 14+ acres, no other site presents the capacity for affordable housing as does University Mall. In terms of a real (not imagined) site that the developer wishes to re-develop, the closest proximity to the UCD campus of any site, the opportunity to reduce student traffic, an option to swap parking spaces for housing, with thoughtful site planning an ability to accommodate additional stories of housing, a valuable site for affordable housing, the possibilities are endless and the benefits accrue to many of us that envision the future projects that Davis must foster. 

There will be no bigger loss to Davis’s needed future if a retail only plan is the regretful permanent outcome. There is no other site within Davis that provides such immediate and real value for the changes we need in land use.

However, it seems like Brixmor is intent on replacing a mall with a mall. In this era which requires a radical rethinking of city planning can we really be so bankrupt of options that a redone mall is the only outcome? We need big changes where we have big opportunities. So the City must turn down the Brixmor plan.

What could change the outcome?

  1. The City should pause the application process and enter into negotiations with Brixmor as to the best way for the City and the neighborhood to achieve a mixed use project. Every reasonable effort and inducement by the City should be looked at to encourage Brixmor to withdraw this present application and return with a mixed use application.
  2. Could the City use eminent domain to obtain the site for a housing only proposal that would eliminate the parking structures needed for the commercial site and replace it with housing? Repurposed as just housing at 40 units per acre the site can accommodate 560 apartments of which at 20% around 112 units would be affordable. The most ever affordable units in the history of Davis.

What an achievement that could be for the Davis future many of us want to build.

To the Planning Commission and City Council I ask you to pursue anything except a re-done mall.

Davis youth represents in the Global Day of Climate Action


(From press release) On Friday, youth in Davis walked out of school to make their voices heard! On this Global Day of Climate Action, during a time when hundreds of thousands of youth marched for climate justice Davis youth joined them. Youth from Davis Senior High School, UCD Davis as well as adult allies of Fridays For Future Davis and Davis community members joined together to demand climate action and the end to fossil financing.

Youth climate activists and organizers Eliot Larson, Mattias RowenBale and Desmond Beach led the march from E 14th & B Street down to Central Park where youth participated in a die-in. Youth between the ages of 13 and 25 years old staged a ‘death from climate change’ as a visual example of what will happen if our leaders continue down a path of inaction. 


After the die-in youth were invited to speak and share their thoughts, concerns and hopes with the Davis community. There were powerful speeches and heart wrenching calls for action demanding our world and local leaders take action today.

We were then led in song by freshman at UCD, Sam Saxe-Taller who brought our voices together as one before we gathered for a round table discussion with Davis City Council members Gloria Partida and Bapu Vaitla. Ms. Partida and Mr. Vaitla were led by youth in productive and inclusive conversation  discussing proactive ways the community can come together to fight the climate crisis as well as listening to the concerns of youth in this uncertain time.

Going forward, Fridays For Future Davis will continue to strike every Friday at the corner of 5th and B Street from nooin-1. Today was their 176th week of striking on Fridays.

A huge thank you to the many organizations and adult allies who join Fridays For Future Davis to help make this Global Climate Strike possible in Davis. And congratulations to all of the youth who bravely stepped up to take action!


Gather for Good at downtown bars month

The nonalcoholic Live Your Dream Lavender Lemonade, being served by Woodstock's Pizza all month

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis celebrates Women’s History Month with a series of fundraisers at downtown bars and restaurants.

Downtown venues will designate a day in March to donate a portion of proceeds to the service club, which is part of a global volunteer movement to educate and empower women and girls. At some locations, patrons will have the chance to order special drinks for the occasion, but proceeds from all sales will benefit the service club. No flyer is necessary but please mention the fundraiser when you order.

So far, venues include:

  • Three Mile Brewing on Wednesday, March 8. For International Women’s Day, the brewery, at 231 G St., Suite 3, will donate a portion of all sales to SI Davis. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m.
  • Woodstock’s Pizza, 238 G St., will donate a portion of proceeds from food and drink sales on Wednesday, March 22, from 5 to 9 p.m. It will also offer a special nonalcoholic Live Your Dream Lavender Lemonade this month to celebrate. Orders must be dine-in or pickup. Please mention the fundraiser.
  • Sophia’s Thai Kitchen and Bar will join in on Wednesday, March 29, from  4 p.m. to midnight. It’s at 129 E St., Suite E. Donations will come from food and beverage sales at the restaurant and bar.

If you’d like to add your downtown restaurant or bar to the Gather for Good event this month, email Maggie Memmott at [email protected]. Watch @soroptimistdavis on Facebook and Instagram, especially the tags #GatherforGood2023 for updates.

SI Davis offers cash Live Your Dream Awards to female heads of household seeking education or training, and assists King High students through its Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program. It also funds high school scholarships, grants to nonprofits that align with the Soroptimist mission, and anti-trafficking efforts.

Council Election Forum Coming March 29

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(From press release) Join the League of Women Voters Davis Area and Davis Media Access for a candidates’ forum for the upcoming Davis City Council election for a new representative from District 3.

The free Zoom event will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. March 29. District 3 represents residents in Central Davis. The elected councilmember will replace Lucas Frerichs, who was elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in November. The all-mail ballot special election will be held May 2.

The forum will feature candidates Donna Neville and Francesca Wright. Local LWV board member Michele Van Eyken will moderate the event.

Audience members will be able to submit questions before and during the forum. To submit a question before the forum email your question to [email protected].

The LWV is a non-partisan organization committed to voter registration and education. To learn more about the League and to sign up to this event, go to: www.lwvdavisarea.org.

Culture Wars in Education: March 12 Forum

(From press release) Culture wars have been waged for decades in the U.S. but recently the battlefield has shifted dramatically to schools and education. Transgender children in school bathrooms and sports, critical race theory, the history of slavery, College Board AP course on African American history - - why are these topics suddenly so salient and controversial? What are the bounds of academic freedom and who decides school curriculum? We will explore these questions at the Contemporary Issues Forum at the Davis United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 12. The discussion will be led by Marty West, professor emerita from the UCD Law School. Marty also served on the Davis Board of Education for eight years. Come with an open mind to explore culture wars March 12 at 11:15 at Davis United Methodist Church, 1620 Anderson Road.

Free Tree Circus show at Davis Central Park, March 11th, 11:45am

(From press release) You’ll never look at trees the same. Join Tree Davis and their friends from Tree Circus at 11:45am on California Arbor Day, Saturday, March 11 at Central Park to see the award-winning TreeCircus perform. The City of Davis has graciously agreed to sponsor the event at the park.

Tree Circus members, Chad Brey - Two time North American Tree Climbing Champion, and TreeCircus arborist, Grayson Keating - TreeCircus naturalist and the first Naturalist at NC’s Gorges State Park. And, modern-day Johnny Appleseed, Tim Womick, is ringmaster.

TreeCircus asks the question, “What do trees give us?“ And fast-paced hilarity and science collide to help audiences better understand the role trees play in our daily lives. Young and old alike delight in humorous TreeCircus antics. Trees are the oldest, hardest working members of most communities and shown to help urban residents live longer, happier, and healthier. “TREECIRCUS / TREESCIENCE / TREEFUN.”

The Tree Circus show is a part of an all-day event sponsored by the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, starting with a tour and discussion at the State Capitol Arboretum, a bike ride across the causeway, and a tour of Davis Great Trees lead by Tree Davis Board President, Dr. Greg McPherson.

Dr. McPherson will be leading another Davis Great Trees Bike Tour on April 29th. Those interested in participating can learn more on the Tree Davis website and social media channels.

HOPE Resource Fair on March 4th!

HOPE Fair + Drive FlyerHOPE@Davis is a student-run organization dedicated to supporting the underserved houseless population in Davis.  On March 4th (from 2pm - 4pm), we are holding a Resource Fair and plan to distribute supplies and resources at the Davis Community Church on 412 C Street, Davis, CA 95616.

If you would like to help out with this resource fair and want to learn more about it, feel free to take a look at our flyer, attached to this post, and email us at [email protected]

Currently, HOPE@Davis is accepting donations for the resource fair. We accept all kinds of supplies and resources, such as clothes, hygiene products, and more! Please keep in mind we plan to stop collecting donations this Thursday so we can organize all our supplies for this weekend's resource fair.

For more info, see: https://hopeatdavis.org/